One in four campus police departments are unprepared to respond to a shooter on campus, and another 46 percent say they are understaffed, according to a recent survey by Campus Safety Magazine. Half of campus police surveyed said they do not have enough weapons, or enough training to use the weapons they do have. President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders on Wednesday intended to curb gun violence, but few items specifically addressed safety issues related to universities, according to The Huffington Post. A directive included among the executive actions, however, does call for "model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education," The Huffington Post reported. At least three shootings have occurred on college campuses in 2013.
Moody's Investors Service released a report on Wednesday, casting a negative outlook on traditional revenue sources for colleges and universities, Inside Higher Ed reported. The report emphasizes the importance of university leaders who combat financial uncertainty with better use of technology, increased operational efficiency and other methods, according to Inside Higher Ed. The causes of the firm's pessimism are largely outside of institutional control and are a result of changes in macro-level economics, technology and public opinion. The report also cited related difficulties facing colleges and universities, including the increasing profile of student debt and default rates and pressure on politicians and accreditation agencies to secure the value of degrees. Moody's rated 515 public and private higher education institutions that issue or wish to issue debt.
Judging students based on original work instead of standardized tests will increase academic rigor and foster more learning among college students, according to a paper released Thursday by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. The paper argues for a framework of student learning titled the "Degree Qualifications Profile," which outlines the skills students should have by graduation. It defines reference points for student learning for associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in five areas integrative knowledge, specialized knowledge, intellectual skills, applied learning and civic learning, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The paper argued that students would benefit more from classes that emphasize essays and presentations than those that focus on multiple choice tests.